Women have realized for generations that various changes to their makeup, hairstyle or clothes can give them a completely different appearance. Cosmetic makeup has been used for centuries by women trying to highlight and give definition to their various individual facial features. While these techniques have long been known....Did you know that modifying your teeth can give you similar results that can be quite dramatic?
Some of us are born with teeth and a smile that complements our individual facial form. But not all of us are quite so lucky.
A bright, white, beautiful smile creates an initial impression that people are sure to notice. Without even speaking a word, your smile can give off a confident, optimistic and friendly persona. An cosmetically pleasing smile is an attractive feature that draws people to you, making them more likely to respond in a positive way towards you.
Physical features aside, a winning smile can also have a big psychological and emotional influence on you. People who are self conscious about their smiles tend to appear timid, hesitant, shy or even mad at the world. You probably will not feel as attractive as you can be.
Modern advancements in cosmetic dentistry has allowed a growing number of our population to benefit from hollywood style smile makeovers. Cosmetic Dentistry smile makeovers are capable of dramatically changing a person's smile to produce dramatic life altering results. A cosmetic dentist will complete a thorough examination of your smile and make detailed notes of the changes that need to be made.
Smile Design Principles for Cosmetic Dentistry
A smile design influences the overall cosmetic impact of a patient's smile. Smile design principles can be broken down into 4 separate areas:
-Facial Aesthetics. A person's facial form can vary dramatically from person to person. A cosmetic dentist can evaluate this using a visual dental examination and the use of digital photography. Facial Esthetics will also include the structure of the bones of the face and the facial musculature. It will also include the way your mouth and lips frame your smile when you talk, smile, or laugh.
-Gingival (Gum) Tissue Aesthetics. A smile with gum tissue that is diseased (swollen, red, receding) will never be one that is considered healthy and beautiful. Healthy gingival tissue is an essential element in smile design as it too frames the teeth. Common cosmetic dentistry complaints include a gummy smile, uneven gum tissue, and receded gum tissue exposing root surfaces of the teeth. All of these items detract from the appeal of a person's smile.
-Microesthetics. This area deals with the various subtle characteristics that make your teeth appear the way they do. This includes how they reflect light, any identifying marks or changes in color. This technique is used when restoring a tooth broken down by tooth decay. Cosmetic Dentistry will restore the tooth to give it qualities closely resembling the natural tooth. The anatomy and coloration of natural teeth is a unique quality that varies from patient to patient.
-Macroesthetics. This area allows the cosmetic dentist to analyze the relationship and proportions between a patient's front teeth, surrounding tissues, and facial characteristics. Analyzing these characteristics will ensure the final product will be natural and attractive for the patient. Working as one, your cosmetic dentist and dental laboratory tech combine their technical and artistic abilities to create a natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance in which the shapes, sizes, and arrangement of each individual teeth blend with and complement your individual characteristics.
Anatomy of a Smile in Cosmetic Dentistry
The following are the anatomical structures or anatomical landmarks as utilized in cosmetic dentistry:
-Lips. In cosmetic dentistry, the lips are usually compared to a picture frame. The lips frame your smile, teeth, and gums. People attempt to enhance their lips by fixing shape, fullness, and symmetry. This can make your smile appear broader and fuller. Lip enhancements correcting shape, fullness, and symmetry of your lips can make your smile seem wider and fuller.
For maximum cosmetic effect, your facial features should line up to your teeth and lip lines. When your lips form a broad smile, an imaginary line can be drawn through the corners of the mouth, from one side to the other. The amount of upper front (maxillary anterior) tooth revealed below this line helps create a vibrant, youthful image. In a youthful smile, the upper front teeth should fill between75-100% of the space between your upper and lower lips in a full smile.
-Midline. The facial midline is an important mark in cosmetic dentistry. It is an imaginary vertical line drawn between the front two upper teeth. For optimum cosmetic effect, the facial midline should line up evenly with the middle of the face.
Sometimes facial features can throw the midline off. These include the eyes, nose, and chin. A portion of the population has uneven eye levels or a nose that is slightly off center. If not taken into account this will throw the whole cosmetic dental analysis off. Cosmetic dentistry uses a much more accurate anatomical landmark on the face. The point between the eyebrows and the cupid's bow in the center of the upper lip is used. By using these two anatomic landmarks, cosmetic dentists can draw and locate the facial midline while also figuring out its direction.
Whenever possible, the midline between the upper front teeth (central incisors) should coincide with the facial midline. In cases where this is not possible, the midline between the central incisors should be perpendicular to the imaginary line that could be drawn through the corners of the mouth.
-Smile Line. Your smile line is the line created by the top of your lower lip. In an ideal smile line, the edges of your upper teeth should be parallel to your lower lip when you smile. The bottom of your lower lip should have the same line as the gums of your lower jaw. This should always be a standard, regardless of the size or shape of your smile. Once your cosmetic dentist has determined the orientation of your smile line, they can design its curve, or shape, and determine the length of your new restorations for your smile makeover.
-Teeth. Smiles that tend to be considered attractive generally have a number of characteristics in common. These characteristics include teeth that are white, teeth that are unstained, and evenly spaced teeth with little to no crowding.
When you smile, your upper teeth show fully in a good proportion to your gum tissues. The line where the gums and teeth meet is smooth and even. The smile line of the upper teeth follows the curve of the lower lip. The midline of the upper front teeth ideally is in the center of the face. Tooth reveal is a term that describes the amount of tooth structure that shows during smiling and various angles of your face.
Variations Cosmetic Dentistry
The impact of a smile cannot be judged just by the individual beauty of teeth and gums. Every patient has their own unique qualities, quirks, and traits. These include age, sex, ethnicity, as well as expectations of what the final result will be.
When considering a patient's ideal smile, the cosmetic dentist will always consider an individuals personal traits or qualities. These include facial features, skin tones, hair color, as well as how your teeth are framed by your overall appearance. Occlusal and functional considerations will also play a role in the final planning.
Macroesthetic concepts provide only guidelines and reference points for beginning esthetic evaluation, planning and treatment. The artistic component can be applied and perfected in cosmetic dentistry by dentists who understand the rules, tools and strategies of smile design. In modern cosmetic dentistry there are tools such as digital imaging, lasers, teeth whitening procedures that allow a skilled cosmetic dentist to create smile makeovers.
The cosmetic dentistry procedures range from teeth whitening to periodontal cosmetic surgery to porcelain crowns, and dental implants. Cosmetic dentists also have at their disposal the ability to change or add to the soft tissues. The use of dermal fillers can correct certain facial feature such as thin lips or even facial asymmetry. Advances in modern cosmetic dentistry and sedation dentistry make it possible to do these procedures with less patient dental anxiety and pain.
Ultimately any smile makeover is in the eye of the beholder. Just because certain procedures are possible it does not mean it should be done on each and every patient. Many patients embrace their unique qualities and are happy with their appearance. Others are looking for a change and that's where cosmetic dentistry can come in and make their dreams come true.
By Marielaina Perrone DDS
Henderson Dental Implants
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